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Viacom Q2 Revenue Dips 3% on Ad Shortfalls, Film Unit Operating Loss

Philippe Dauman
Paul Hampartsoumian/REX Shutterstock

Viacom Inc. said revenue dipped slightly its fiscal second quarter fell 3% as its U.S. media networks grappled with ratings declines and a decrease in affiliate fees, while its filmed-entertainment operations suffered with the releases like “Zoolander 2” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”

The owner of Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV said revenue in the second quarter came to $3 billion, compared with about $3.08 billion in the year-earlier period.

Net earnings attributable to Viacom came to $303 million, or 76 per share, compared with a loss of $53 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier. In last year’s second quarter, Viacom posted a pre-tax charge of $785 million to account for a large corporate restructuring that included layoffs and a reorganization of its business units.

“We are responding to industry consumption shifts with innovative, thoughtful, and long-term strategic solutions and are generating meaningful results in many important areas, including content creation, data-based audience measurement and distribution innovation,” the company’s executive chairman and chief executive, Philippe Dauman, said in a prepared statement. “There is much more work to be done, but we see the path to growth ahead and are very optimistic about our future.”

The company said revenue at its TV networks totaled  $2.38 billion, down  3% from results in the year-earlier quarter. U.S. advertising revenues fell 5%, due to what the company said were “softer ratings at some of our networks.”  International advertising revenues fell 1%, the result of foreign-exchange effects.

Revenue at the company’s filmed-entertaiment operations fell 1% to $655 million, due to declines in home-entertainment and theatrical revenue.  The unit posted an operating loss of $136 million, driven by, the company said, “the performance of certain films released in the quarter.” Paramount released two films, “Zoolander 2” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” widely considered to be duds.